For those of you tirelessly campaigning for a dislike button, it looks like it's arrived, at least in some format. Facebook has upgraded its comments plugin and now allows users to up- and down-vote other comments, finally giving us the ability to simply disagree, no ifs ands or buts about it.
While the company has been very careful, it seems, not to use the word "dislike", clicking the "up" arrow is synonymous with "liking", so we can only assume that clicking the "down" arrow would be a "dislike".
In the new comment plugin, comments are not only threaded, meaning each user can reply directly to another user, but more information is shown on each person, including their job and company, or network, and their comment record. The system also allows for up- and down-voting, a la Reddit - actually, the whole comment system is very Reddit-esque.
Image via All Facebook.
To see the new comment system in action, take a look at Facebook's latest blog post. Each comment begins with one point and a vote up or down raises or lowers that rating by a point. Comments can go into the negative, but so far we haven't seen any effect from these ratings - simply the indicator that others disagree with it in some way. If you reload the page over time, too, you'll notice that your comment stays at the top, so you can manage your comment and conversation. We wonder if we'll see highly rated comments float to the top and negatively rated comments disappear, as on Reddit.
For now, it looks like the upgraded plugin is only active on Facebook and not on third-party sites, but the move certainly encroaches on the territory of commenting systems like Disqus, Echo and Intense Debate.
Beyond third-party comment systems, however, we're really curious as to when this might hit the Facebook user stream. We've already seem some interesting activity on the new Facebook groups feature, with more active posts rising to the top and negating the usual newest to oldest order. Allowing users to vote on posts and on individual comments could really alter the entire dynamic of Facebook. That sort of functionality is already in place, with the "Top News" view of your user stream, it just isn't so blatant. Not to mention, we support threaded comments wherever they may be found - they just make sense.